September, 1974

My first exposure to the comic book Spider-Man (I had watched the 1967 cartoon for years on Channel 5. However, as a child of 3, I didn’t quite understand the concept of the web-shooters–I thought that Spider-Man had strung up all of these ropes around the city, so that he could swing on them Tarzan-like.), MARVEL TALES #53 was given to me by my Uncle Jerry. He was a house painter by trade, and had come across one or two comics in his travels–the other book he gave me that summer’s day was WORLD’S FINEST #226.

I was still not a fan of the Marvel style, so I went into the issue with a certain amount of prejudice. It’s a terrific Stan Lee/John Romita tale, originally presented in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #70–a chapter in the “Tablet Saga”, considered by many to be the pinnacle of the Lee/Romita era. But it didn’t really grab me. I found most of the characters harsh and shrill, I wasn’t crazy about the idea that the hero was wanted by the authorities, and I definitely didn’t like the fact that, like all of the Marvel books I’d read at that time, it continued into the next issue.

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